STEAM Role, a new platform created by serial entrepreneur Clarence Wooten, is set up to help aspiring young professionals find role models in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). Black Enterprise caught up with Wooten to discuss why he feels this platform is important and what differentiates it from others in the market.
Why did you create STEAM Role?
I wanted to give back. Tech has been good to me. I’m a believer in STEAM, and I recognize that information is widely available (you can learn almost anything online today) but inspiration is not widely available. Not everyone has role models who are STEAM professionals that they can aspire to become. If you can’t see it, you can’t be it. I wanted to empower others like me to give back by showcasing who they are and how they go to where they are. STEAM Role is that platform.
What is unique about the platform?
STEAM Role takes an original approach to making mentorship scalable. We bring together a little bit of the feel of Tinder, LinkedIn, and Snapchat to help the workforce of the future discover whom they can become, and how to get there. Role models can inspire many but mentors can only inspire a few.
STEAM Role makes it possible for Steamers (students and aspiring young professionals primarily ages 13–30, middle school through grad school) to follow and learn by watching story clip selfie videos recorded via the app by role models that they can relate to (with common gender, ethnicity, and interests). And learn, by following the skill roadmaps of their favorite role models to acquire the necessary skills to become them.
Along the way, partnering companies such as HP watch as Steamers complete skill roadmaps and potentially offer internships and job interviews via STEAM Role’s DTP (Diverse Talent Pipeline) SaaS dashboard.
STEAM Role’s DTP enables companies to inspire, track, and hire diverse talent sourced directly from the STEAM Role app. Through STEAM Role, any participating company can leverage their existing employees as role models to provide inspiration and guidance to students and aspiring young professionals (aka Steamers)—creating a farm system of developing talent that they can tap into for open positions and internship opportunities.
In summary, STEAM Role is a network where aspiring young professionals, top STEAM role models, the companies that hire them, and organizations that support them, come together to make the participation economy accessible to everyone.
When does it officially go to market?
We officially go to market at the start of Q2 2018.
To test out the product, sign up for the beta here.